New York City just got an extra helping hand to support those who fought to protect this country — and currently find themselves without a place to call home.
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA) announced Monday two partnerships with the private sector that will bring the city $750,000 to help end homelessness among veterans throughout the five boroughs.
The companies involved in the partnerships include the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and its members.
“Every veteran should receive proper housing and the services they need to help them cope with their experiences in war,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation donated $250,000 to MOVA, the Mayor’s Fund and Enterprise Community Partners to support efforts to meet and maintain Functional Zero — the national standard for ending veteran homelessness and quickly relocating all new veterans that enter the shelter system.
Through the funding the city will be able to implement a new program that aims to develop and staff the aftercare Veterans’ Transition Assistance Program; engage in strategic planning to meet and maintain Functional Zero; and restructure the process of placing homeless people and their families in permanent housing.
The Mayor’s Fund also launched the Veterans Housing Initiative, a public-private partnership to provide financial aid to veterans who have successfully transitioned from the shelter system to permanent housing in order to encourage them to begin their new lives.
“Through philanthropic initiatives, Deutsche Bank is committed to addressing homelessness across New York City’s most at-risk populations — domestic violence survivors, LGBTQ youth, formerly incarcerated individuals and their families, as well as veterans,” said Gary Hattem, president of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.
A total of $500,000 has also been raised from private partners — $450,000 from REBNY and its members — for the Veterans Housing Initiative.
Through the initiative, the Mayor’s Fund will distribute Target gift cards valued up to $1,000 for eligible veterans who were placed in permanent housing at the end of 2015.
According to data from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of veterans staying in shelters or on the streets has decreased by 90 percent since 2011. The daily number of homeless veterans in New York City is currently 477, which is down from 4,677 five years ago.
Last year, according to officials, the city placed over 1,000 veterans in permanent housing across the city and so far 437 veterans have been placed in permanent housing in 2016.
“We have effectively ended chronic veteran homelessness in the city, but we recognize that there is still much to be accomplished to assist New Yorkers who have put their lives at risk to protect our nation,” said Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks. “These partnerships between the private and public sectors will help advance our commitment to helping New York City veterans obtain permanent housing and the additional supportive services they so desperately need and deserve.”